Today I submitted our school application for the Big One. She’ll be five next September and my tiny baby will be plucked from my arms and into the world of school. I’m not ready. She’s not ready. Even my mum’s not ready. NO ONE IS READY.
I have no idea where the time has gone. It seems like yesterday that I was sitting on my sofa with my six NCT friends, bemoaning our first experiences of piles, reflux and stroking our enormous bumps. Lulled into a false sense of security by our four birthing classes in which we were promised that our partner massaging our feet would make it a beautiful, slightly ‘uncomfortable’ experience and that breastfeeding was easy and completely painless. Gullible twits that we were. The reality is that it bloody hurt and who knew that nipples could actually bleed?
But I digress. As usual.
I’m scared I’ll forget. I worry that I won’t remember what it feels like to see Big’s beautiful face light up in the best smile when she sees me at Pre-school pick up. That she’ll get the swagger of a schoolgirl and Mummy becomes Mum and totally uncool. I worry that she won’t ask to do craft any more and that the endless cry of, ‘What are you doing, Mummy? Can I do it too?’ will cease. I worry that my shadow will disappear.
I fear forgetting the tickle of Medium’s fuzzy hair in the middle of the night when she’s joined me in bed without me knowing and the way she smiles, just showing her bottom teeth. Sometimes I forget she even has top teeth. I fear her lovely, chunky toddler legs will disappear too soon and she’ll no longer climb on my lap and let me stroke them.
And then there’s Little. Will I remember how she snuggles into me as if she wants to get back inside my skin if I make a move to get out of bed? How much I love just lying in the dark with her in my arms and sniffing that intoxicating baby smell on the top of her head? The feeling I had when I first saw her smile and the tears at her first laugh.
I feel like I need to back up my brain, like I do the photos on my phone but I’m not convinced Dropbox stores memories. Perhaps they could work on that. In the meantime, if time could just slow down a little bit – just a little bit – so I can stop and smell the children, that would be great.